Sunday, May 31, 2009

Blisters suck!

I had a love/hate run this morning with the Wasaga Beach Road Runners this past Sunday
Loved the run; hated the shoes.

While it was a sunny morning here in Wasaga Beach, summer weather still eluded us Sunday morning. +3 degrees Celsius with a strong wind coming from the north west off Georgian Bay. We heard the waves and saw the whitecaps. Thankfully we ran along Shorelane Road with much of the wind broken by the line of trees and homes.

My breathing settled down immediately after setting out and matched the quick pace for the out leg into the headwind. Hey, I could even keep up a conversation with Mike!

This was fun.

Then the insole in my right foot let me down. Literally.

I have had problems with these shoes. Love the brand and have put in lots of mileage over the year with the brand. This particular pair has not been my friend unfortunately.

After we made the turn for the even quicker pace back with the wind at our backs, I felt the blister. And of course since I didn't want to fall behind I kept up the pace. This of course was not a good idea.

I finished a couple of minutes faster on the inbound leg but could barely walk. A really big blister had developed on the arch of my right foot. Hello to a couple of days rest; goodbye shoes!

Even with this setback I am still on track with my training for the Reggae Marathon in Negril, December 5. ( I planned for some set backs early in the training. With this behind me...and a new, better fitting shoe in my immediate future, the training continues...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Found my way...again

It is easy to get distracted. I know, I just went through it.

It began with the excitement surrounding the MACLEANS article in March. (Yes, the article still exists on-line, I may never live it down: At the time, I was flitting madly in a number of directions: public speaking, sales consultant, blogger, advertising. If the phone rang (and it didn't ring often) I jumped at any and every opportunity. "New" was good...or so it seemed.

The result was that I found myself being very active but not very productive. And growing anxious with each passing day. It was very frustrating to Sally and I give her much credit for sticking with me through this frenzy.

Of course it had to end. As predicted by Andy Warhol our 15 minutes of fame ended. Mind you, I managed to stretch it out to 23 minutes with the radio interviews that I gave. I was pleased to hear that the interview on 570 CHYM in Kitchener gave them a solid hour of radio

The end came most unexpectedly. I was having lunch in Kitchener with the owner of a another small advertising agency. We were discussing how I would help him grow his business.

I stopped chewing for a moment when I realized that I had lost my focus on growing my business.

Eureka moment. The rest of the conversation faded into white noise after that.

On the long drive back home to the Beach on the back roads north-east of Kitchener with the sunroof open and Dave Matthews cranked up loud on the stereo, I came back down to earth. And not with a thud.

I got home that night, played with Tia, spoke at length with Sally and made the not-so-painful decision to re-focus on the key thing: working with her to build our home-based marketing business in Collingwood and Wasaga Beach.

I got on the phone the next morning to extricate myself from the distractions. Yes, I told some people 'No'.

Whew, what a relief.

Some thanks: to Lauren Pibworth who helped me to realize that I like performing in front of a crowd after all...just a more specific one; to Tia for reminding me to play more often; but most importantly to Sally for not giving up.

You can check us out here:
Watch for us throughout Georgian Bay this summer! And I mean that literally since I will be training for the Reggae Marathon with lots of road work along the roads around Collingwood and Wasaga Beach.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wasaga Beach Road Runners leave me in the dust

Reality check!

I joined the Wasaga Beach Road Runners last Sunday for my first run with them This was a first for me: I have never run with others, I have never been a member of a running club. I have run alone for the past 25 years. Sally says, "Run Christopher, run". I do run away, but I always come back home.

But I digress...
As you will by now know, I have decided to finish my first marathon in Negril on December 5. The plan was hatched when I decided to finish my 'unfinished marathon business'. The Reggae Marathon caught my imagination. I am dedicating the run to the memory of my late father, Carl (or CI to family and friends).

I realized relatively quickly however that I needed support. Despite my best efforts at fighting the 'age thing', I knew I would have to train smarter not harder. Enter the Wasaga Beach Road Runners club. My support group.

Well, they left me in the dust last Sunday. Literally. Except for the 15 minutes or so when Mike McCluskey was kind enough to walk/run with me on the return leg of the 60 minute run because I simply could not catch my breath, it was actually quite funny. There I was, an experienced runner, successful triathlon competitor falling behind on a LSD run. How the heck was I ever going to finish 42 kilometres in the heat of Negril this December?

The answer at first was humbling: I would have to stop, listen and learn from them.

By Tuesday morning I was re-energized and motivated once again. I went out for a longer-than-usual mid week run. Slightly faster than I usually go. Kept talking out loud as I ran along (that made for quite a sight I am sure) and returned home feeling great.

Thanks Mike and gang. Don't expect me to remain behind much longer. :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Training for the Reggae Marathon in Negril

I met Mike McCluskey last week to talk about our common passion of running. I came away inspired and motivated. Inspired by his dream of starting the Wasaga Beach Road Runners club (here is the current link: and motivated to begin training in earnest to finish my goal of finishing the Reggae Marathon in Negril December 5 ( Mike's best piece of advice was that I didn't have to run the entire 42 km distance in training. He suggested a 30-something week training program that peaked with five-32 km runs and ended 3 weeks before the event. I know I don't have it absolutely correct yet, but, "I can do that"!

With all that positive energy, I went out for my first Long Slow Distance run on Sunday morning. It was NOT a morning that I wanted to climb out of my warm bed at 6:00 am to go for a long run. After a couple of warm days here in Wasaga Beach, Sunday morning dawned clear and COLD. Around 3 degrees Celsius.

Oh, and did I mention the wind? A stiff, cold wind was blowing from the north off the lake. That proved to be a bonus on the outbound leg, but I knew the return 6 km leg was going to be hell. It was.

So with my mind firmly set on the vision of crossing the finish line in Negril on December 5, I set out. I even met another person crazy enough to be out in the 'not-so-nice conditions'. Runners sure are nuts!

And as all long-time runners know from experience, highlights happen at any time. That morning I had two. First, I got to see a fabulous sunrise over Simcoe county. Wish I had my camera with me. Second, on my way back, running into the cold headwind, three young white-tale deer scampered across the road about 50 metres ahead of me. After that the final 2 km home was a breeze (bad pun I know).

Thanks for helping me with the motivation, Mike.

Some additional plugs:

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Gluten-free and No Dairy

We finally made the decision a couple of weeks to completely cut out all products that contain gluten and dairy. And I love my pasta and bread! When I was competing in the Subaru Triathlon series a number of years ago, 'carbo-loading' was necessary. And fun. And now that we have made the decision to be free of both gluten and dairy, my training for the Reggae Marathon in Negril December 5 will be a challenge

But all is not lost: we have met some new people who have given us some great advice, we now eat better at home, and we have found a great restaurant in Thornton. And I still get to carbo-load!

So how did we get so extreme so quickly? It helped that Sally and I both have extreme tendencies. We tend to adopt quickly and push to the limits. Sally finally had enough with digestion problems and decided to do something radical about it.

Our first step was a visit to Georgian Health Foods in Wasaga Beach. It is owned and operated by Ausra Dalinda. You can find her co-ordinates here: . She spent some time with us discussing our problem then made a number of suggestions on how we could eliminate gluten and dairy from our diet. We tried them and saw work positive results almost immediately. We also liked that she carried gluten and diary-free products.

Then we modified our cooking at home. Gone are the pasta's and wheat-based products. We replaced them with rice and rice-based dishes. We added fresh vegetables and various lentils to every meal.

Sally is a great cook and has really embraced spicy, flavourful Mediterranean, South Asian and Eastern style cooking. Yummy! And since I grew up in Jamaica and enjoyed many of these flavours, I didn't need convincing.

We also grow vegetables in our backyard garden. We tip-toed in last year with tomatoes and herbs and plan to expand upon that this summer.

And we have found a new 'favourite' restaurant. Sirenis in Thornton We actually found them on Good Friday when we went there for their excellent gluten-free fish and chips. We have been there since and despite our best efforts we have not gotten them to spill the beans on their unique menu for their gluten-free batter. We will keep going back of course and will not give up.

I need your help. Do you have stories to share? Do you have recipes? If so, I would love you to share them. You can post them as comments below this article.

As a 'newbie convert', we are now passionate about sharing the benefits of our gluten and dairy-free diet.

Until next time...

Monday, May 4, 2009

How Drive-thru's are Killing the Planet

My rant this week is about how fast food drive-thru's are not only a huge inconvenience, but are in fact killing the planet.

I am not a tree hugger. I am not anti-automobile. And I have not done any quantitative research. In fact, I love a long drive in a fast car on a sunny day. But last Friday on my way north from Toronto, I say something that just turned my stomach. At a fast food outlet just off the highway was a line up of 30+ cars at the drive-thru! All idling at 0 miles per gallon (apologies for going non-metric).

Now lets do some simple math: assuming it took 30 seconds to serve each vehicle, that meant that each vehicle spent 15 minutes in the drive-thru line up!

And the really incredible thing? There were vacant parking spaces in front of the restaurant. A quick look inside showed multiple cash registers open none with more than 3 people.

Do the math again: with 3 people in line and at 30 seconds to serve each customer that worked out to less than 2 minutes to get service. And assuming each driver had turned off their engine before going into the restaurant, much less pollution.

13 minutes saved by going into the store rather than sitting in the drive-thru. And way less pollution from an idling vehicle.

One location of course won't kill the planet. But repeat this at all the drive-thru's throughout North America, and I think it is time to re-think this 'Convenience'.